Summary: Sermon on being thankful
A. Thanksgiving Day – First held in 1611 after the winter of 1610 had reduced the number of settlers from 406 to 60. They prayed for help and God answered in the form of a ship filled with food and supplies from England. They thanked Him! In 1621, another band of 46 Puritans and 91 Native Americans held a special day of thanksgiving to praise the Lord for a bountiful harvest. The previous winter had reduced their number from 102 to 46, yet they were thankful.
B. Washington called for a national day of thanksgiving in 1789. Lincoln established that the last Thursday of November would be a day of thanksgiving in America. Congress finally settled the day on the fourth Thursday in November as the official day of thanksgiving here in America.
C. This idea of thankfulness and thanksgiving comes from the Bible.
D. Christianity is the religion of thanksgiving!
E. Notice one such place that the Bible illustrates being thankful in Luke 17:11-19.
I. Retell the story of the ten lepers.
A. On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. (Luk 17:11)
1. It was not uncommon for a Jew, who despised the Samaritans to walk several miles out of their way in order not to go through Samaria. (show map). But it seems Jesus took a different route.
B. And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance (Luk 17:12)
1. This is an unnamed village where Jesus comes in contact with ten lepers.
2. Leprosy is a disease of the skin which created decomposed spots on the skin. The disease destroyed the nerves and because of that people could not feeling with they were to close to the fire, or if a rat was nibbling on their foot. This caused a person limbs to fall off or rot off. And if that is not bad enough. If you had this disease you were cast out of your community, you were not to be touched; you could not touch your husband or wife, or your children. You had to yell Leper, Leper when someone did come near. You were cast out of the city and exposed to the elements of nature, wild animals and any enemies your city may have had. To have Leprosy was a death sentence.
C. and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” (Luk 17:13)
1. These men called out to Jesus and asked him to have pity on them.
2. Leviticus 13:46, states that Lepers must live separate from others and cry out, unclean.
D. When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. (Luk 17:14)
1. This was in accordance with a Law of Moses they were to show themselves to the priest (Lev. 14:1-2).
2. They are cleansed as they go.
E. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus' feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. (Luk 17:15-16)
1. The ten men had faith that Jesus could help them, and He did. The Samaritan not only believed but thanked the Lord for what he did. He was the only one.
2. The Samaritan was a most unlikely person to say “Thank you.”
a. In the Jews minds Samaritans were a very despised half-breed race.
b. John 4:9, “for the Jews have no dealings with Samaritans”.
3. This is the last person one would think of to say “Thank You.”
a. Oftentimes, the most unlikely people are the ones who obey God and give Him glory. God always accepts their praise and frequently uses them as the examples of a righteous heart.
F. Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.” (Luk 17:17-19)
1. Sadness seems to have been the dominant emotion as Jesus contemplated the ingratitude of the nine. How could men be so thoughtless and unappreciative of God's favor?
2. These lepers had come to Jesus in the extreme, detestable, and pitiful disease; they pleaded with him to help, and he healed them; but nine of them never even said, "Thank you."
3. Only 1 out of the 10 said, `Thank you’ and he was a Samaritan.
a. People can be ungrateful. Years ago, one stormy night in Lake Michigan, a side-wheeler steamboat was rammed by another boat. The steamboat sank just a mile offshore from the village of Winnetka, Illinois. Out of 393 passengers on board, 279 drowned.